TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2022) – About 40 million adults within the United States usually take statins to decrease their cholesterol ranges and cut back their danger of coronary heart illness and stroke, in keeping with American Heart Association information from 2020.
However, lots of them don’t stand to learn from these medication based mostly on new analysis from David Diamond, a neuroscientist and heart problems researcher within the Department of Psychology on the University of South Florida.
Diamond and his co-authors reviewed literature from medical trials involving sufferers taking both a statin or placebo. They then narrowed their assessment to have a look at examine individuals with elevated ranges of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL), the so-called “bad cholesterol,” which could be lowered with a statin. Some people with high LDL additionally had high triglycerides (fats within the blood) and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good cholesterol,” which put them on the highest danger of getting a coronary heart assault.
But others with high LDL had been very totally different. They had low triglycerides and high HDL, which meant they had been more healthy. People with optimum triglycerides and HDL ranges usually train, have low blood stress and low blood sugar, and are at a low danger of a coronary heart assault.
Diamond and his co-authors requested two questions: If people are at a low danger of a coronary heart assault based mostly on having optimum triglycerides and HDL, however additionally they have high LDL, does that elevate their danger? Further, would these people profit from reducing their LDL with a statin?
Their findings, printed within the journal Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, confirmed LDL alone has “a very weak association” with coronary heart illness and stroke. Their assessment went additional, displaying that when people with high LDL and optimum triglycerides and HDL got a statin, there was no profit.
Diamond put the findings right into a food regimen and way of life context.
“People who are not overweight, have low blood sugar, exercise and are on a low-carb diet typically have optimal triglycerides and HDL, and sometimes they have high LDL,” he mentioned. “Our findings show that the people who have this healthy combination of diet and lifestyle, as well as high LDL, showed no benefit from taking a statin.”
The authors say their assessment additionally challenges the long-held competition that low-carb diets, which are sometimes high in saturated (animal) fats, contribute to coronary heart illness. That competition has endured for practically 50 years, relationship to when heart specialist Robert Atkins was challenged concerning the potential risks of his high-fat Atkins food regimen earlier than a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Nutrition and Human Needs in 1973.
“High blood pressure, obesity, smoking and high blood sugar are the primary drivers of heart disease,” Diamond mentioned. “Cholesterol is an innocent bystander, and saturated fat in the diet has been undeservedly demonized.”
Diamond acknowledges that his analysis is controversial and has resulted in robust help, alongside with criticism from some inside the medical group who’ve challenged his views on LDL and statins. He cautions that it’s meant to lift consciousness and may not be thought of medical recommendation.
Diamond’s curiosity within the affiliation between LDL cholesterol and the danger of coronary heart illness and stroke is private.
About 25 years in the past, he was chubby and identified with high triglycerides and low HDL, a probably deadly mixture. His physician informed him he was at high danger of creating coronary heart illness and prescribed a statin to decrease his LDL cholesterol. Instead of taking the remedy, Diamond started his examine of food regimen and coronary heart illness.
“I learned my problem was that I ate too many carbs – bread, potatoes and sugar,” Diamond mentioned. “I’ve been able to get my weight under control and reduce my risk of heart disease with a low-carb diet. In the process, I’ve become aware of the obsession with linking cholesterol to heart disease.”
Diamond has since printed greater than a dozen papers on flaws within the consensus that cholesterol causes coronary heart illness. His newest paper included a assessment of the medical literature linking statins to quite a few hostile results, together with the event of diabetes, harm to muscular tissues and kidneys and impaired mind functioning.
“Certain statins have been linked to cognitive impairment because they interfere with the brain’s ability to produce cholesterol, which is essential for the creation of new brain connections and to form memories,” Diamond mentioned.
According to Diamond, people who’re chubby and have diabetes might profit from taking a statin as a result of, along with reducing LDL, the medication block extra clotting and irritation, two identified danger elements of coronary heart illness.
However, for those that choose to take remedy relatively than make food regimen and way of life modifications, Diamond has a message: “People who take a statin might not appreciate that they’re a little less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, but the adverse effects of the statin may cause them harm.”
Co-authors for the examine had been Brigham Young University Professor Ben Bikman and Paul Mason, a doctor in New South Wales, Australia.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, a high-impact international analysis college devoted to pupil success, generates an annual financial affect of greater than $6 billion. Over the previous 10 years, no different public college within the nation has risen quicker in U.S. News and World Report’s nationwide college rankings than USF. Serving greater than 50,000 college students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, inserting it in essentially the most elite class among the many state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread nationwide recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income college students at charges equal to or larger than white and better revenue college students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn extra at www.usf.edu.
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